ClickHouse is an open-source real-time analytics database built and optimized for use cases requiring super-low latency analytical queries over large amounts of data. To achieve the best possible performance for analytical applications, combining tables in a data denormalization process is typical. Flattened tables help minimize query latency by avoiding joins at the cost of incremental ETL complexity, typically acceptable in return for sub-second queries.
However, denormalizing data isn’t always practical for some workloads, for instance, those coming from more traditional data warehouses. Sometimes, part of the source data for analytical queries needs to remain normalized. These normalized tables take less storage and provide flexibility with data combinations, but they require joins at query time for certain types of analysis.